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CNN’s John King: Was Trump’s Alleged Blackmail of Morning Joe an ‘Abuse of Power?’

CNN’s John King started Friday’s Inside Politics discussion by asking whether President Trump abused his power by allegedly blackmailing Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.

After going over the criticism for Trump’s attack against the Morning Joe co-hosts, King addressed Scarborough’s allegations that the National Enquirer would put out a hit piece about him if he didn’t obey the White House’s demands to end critical coverage.

Trump came really close to confirming Scarborough’s allegations today, and King asked whether the Trump Administration was essentially threatening the media.

“The president says it’s not true. The Enquirer says if there were those conversations, they had no part of it,” said King. “But at the core of this is a question of potential threats and abuse of power?”

Jackie Kucinich cited The Daily Beast’s most recent report naming Jared Kushner as one of the senior White House advisers who supposedly blackmailed the Morning Joe co-hosts. As the debate continued about whether any threats were made, The Wall Street Journal‘s Laura Meckler wondered how the entire “pissing match” will actually do Trump’s agenda any good.

King acknowledged the biting commentary that has come from Morning Joe, but he also said Trump doesn’t have to go on “thin-skinned, sexist rants” when he has plenty of surrogates to defend him. King also noted that Scarborough’s accusations are plausible given Trump’s relationship with the publication.

Earlier today, National Enquirer re-upped a story about the “cheating scandal” between the MSNBC hosts. The tabloid released a statement since then, saying “At no time did we threaten either Joe or Mika or their children in connection with our reporting on the story.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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